SBRI Healthcare – Competition 18 – Delivering a Net Zero NHS

Key Features

In 2020 the UK’s National Health Service became the first health system in the world to commit to getting to net zero carbon. SBRI Healthcare are offering funding to help achieve that goal.

Programme:     SBRI Healthcare

Award:     Up to £100,000 per project

Opens: 13th Jul 2021

Closes: 24th Aug 2021

! This scheme is now closed


The competition, scoped in consultation with stakeholders working in provision of care across the spectrum, focuses on Reducing NHS Emissions.


Applicants are expected to respond to the specific challenge and provide details as to how their
innovations meet the brief and support the NHS net-zero commitment, whilst being mindful of the
broader impact of their innovation on sustainability within the chosen care pathway.

The impact of reducing carbon emissions in one part of the system should be carefully considered so that it does not increase emissions and resource requirements in other parts of the system.

The applications must include satisfactory details on the following areas:

Supply chain

  • A full lifecycle assessment of the proposed innovation, considering how the supply chain is involved.
  • How materials were sourced, and the transport and logistics involved in the manufacture and delivery of the product. NB: products sourced and manufactured in the UK will receive additional weighting.
  • How carbon emissions will be managed at each stage, including upstream and downstream implications.
  • Assessment of the product lifecycle that would support a Phase 2 application.
  • Address one or more areas of the “5Rs of sustainable procurement” (as defined above).

Carbon reduction

  • A detailed methodology and/or framework to outline qualitative and quantitative approaches to assess any reduction in carbon emissions resulting from the innovation.
  • Evidence of where benefits of the innovation may impact the potential carbon footprint

Applicants are also asked to consider how the innovation will:

  • Provide tangible and direct benefits to the health and care of patients.
  • Improve health outcomes, reduce health inequality and drive efficiency.
  • Impact the health and care system and how the system may need to change to adopt the
    innovation and deliver system wide benefits.
  • Be accepted by different stakeholders and whether they can be involved in the design of a solution and its development.
  • Be affordable to the NHS and wider system such as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) both
    immediately and throughout the life of the product and how this will be evidenced.

Full details of the eligible challenges and focus areas can be found in the competition document here.


The competition is open to single companies or organisations from the private, public and third sectors, including charities.

Funding Costs

The competition runs in two phases (subject to availability of budget in 2022):

  • Phase 1 is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept. The development contracts placed will be for a maximum of 6 months and up to £100,000 (Incl. VAT) per project
  • Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units from the more promising technologies in Phase 1.

Only those projects that have completed Phase 1
successfully will be eligible for Phase 2.

Developments will be 100% funded and suppliers for each project will be selected by an open
competition process and retain the intellectual property rights (IPR) generated from the project, with certain rights of use retained by the NHS.


There are a number of technologies or types of solution which may already be in development or are already available and will not be funded through this call. These are listed below:

  • Development of innovative reduced carbon inhalers (e.g. dry powder inhaler and metered-dose inhaler)
  • Travel and transport, specifically electrification of the fleet and infrastructure for charging and travel
  • Optimisation of estates and energy / water management
  • Food, catering and nutrition
  • Development of new wearables devices
  • Any technologies that negatively impact staff workloads will also be excluded